The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 04/2/2018 8:16 AM
The Virden Oil Capitals, following their four-game sweep of the Winkler Flyers in the semis, have been waiting for a few days now to see who they would face in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League championship series.
Well, they have their answer now as they will go up against the Steinbach Pistons in a championship showdown featuring the top two teams in the league this season.
The Pistons finally got by the determined Winnipeg Blues, winning 3-2 Sunday night at the Iceplex to win the best of seven semi-final series 4-2.
Although the Blues only finished sixth in the regular season standings, they came into their own heading into the post-season and promptly eliminated the third ranked, and three-time defending champion Portage Terriers in the quarters.
Tied 2-2 in the series with the Blues, the Pistons turned the corner in the series with a 3-0 victory at home on Saturday, finishing off the Blues with that big win on Sunday.
The Pistons struck first last night on a Brado Tatro marker with just over three minutes remaining in the third, but the Blues tied it early in the second on a goal by Brendan Kochanski.
Team captain Braden Purtill gave the Pistons the lead with six minutes left in the second and Drew Worrad scored a huge insurance marker midway through the third as the Blues would later score their second goal in the dying seconds of the game.
Again, Mathew Thiessen was stupendous in net making 33 saves as the Pistons outshot the Blues 46-33 with Jeremy Link stopping 43 for the Blues.
In winning their second straight MJHL pennant this year, the Pistons were the runaway leaders in the regular season standings as they totalled 100 points on a record of 48-8-2-2, a whopping 17 points ahead of the second place Oil Capitals (40-17-2-1).
Although final dates have not yet been announced, it is expected game one of the MJHL finals will be played this Friday in Steinbach.
The defending MJHL champion Steinbach Pistons, with their pre-season schedule now completed, will spend the week in practice preparing for their regular season opener Friday night in Steinbach.
With a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Selkirk Steelers by scores ...
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